Before Killing Piracy Conquer It


July 26, 2012

Now, film makers say that ‘Film Piracy’ is a burning problem. They have been trying to bring awareness among people that piracy is detrimental to film industry.

July 26, 2012

Now, film makers say that ‘Film Piracy’ is a burning problem. They have been trying to bring awareness among people that piracy is detrimental to film industry.

But the point is, not a considerable percentage of film lovers are connecting to this hue and cry. Majority film lovers are the people those love just watching films. Their love need not be understood as the love towards film industry.

I was with a producer, a director and two assistant directors yesterday. The topic was hot about Film Piracy.

The director said, “It’s a burning problem. Piracy is killing producers and the industry on a whole”.

Than the seriousness in his line, I have seen a sycophant in him, for saying that so emotionally when the producer was beside him.

Producer countered, “I don’t see a big problem in it. When audience like a film on pirated version, they also love to watch on big screen and come to theatres. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be these many block buster films those have been collecting more than Rs 100 Cr, these days”.

An assistant director added, “So, a pirated version of a movie works as a marketing tool for good film and a poison for average or poor film”.

Producer replied, “When the film is poor, it will be buried on the day it releases. There will be no one to mourn for evening show as well. At least, the product reaches the end user through piracy though the film is poor”.

Director asked producer, “So, you thank piracy?”

“I don’t. But I don’t care.

Another assistant said, “It’s a problem but every problem cannot be made a national issue. Anti Piracy can just be a law but cannot be a movement”.

Director said, “It will be made a national issue, when the end users those are downloading the pirated version are arrested by tracking their IP”.

I intruded, “When Microsoft came to know that many have been using the pirated versions of its SW, it targeted only the companies using the pirated versions but not the users in households. There is no big business strategy in that but a simple common sense point. Companies will be concerned about the factors like brand name, goodwill etc and hence don’t wish to get into the shackles of legalities. And, the companies use more PCs or laptops where the original software can be sold in big number by showing the stick of legal sue. But majority individuals don’t tend to purchase original, and they prefer to keep away from that SW. That leads to competitors enter the vacuum. Hence Microsoft considered the individual downloads as a means of publicity and also a check for competitors. And it proved right with its numero uno position in the segment.

Director said, “Why do you say this? How this should be applied to film business? I say there is no solution to piracy but it should be battered on regular basis like chemotherapy for cancer”

I continued, “I don’t say that this can be applied but just sharing the capitalist outlook. Many say every problem has a solution. So, when there is no solution that is not a problem at all”.

“How does capitalist outlook work here?”

“Business should happen with SWOT analysis but not emotion. Star Cast will be the ‘Strength’, recent track record may be ‘Weakness’, using Social media for marketing is an ‘Opportunity’ and piracy is the ‘Threat’. When the threat is observed in big way and when no solution is seen, better to convert the threat into an opportunity”, I tried to explain.

“How?” enquired the director.

“When technology beats tradition, make technology a tradition? I mean, as the film is being pirated through websites, along with making the film hit theatres the producer can simultaneously release it online. If a ticket to watch in theatre is priced at $X the online version can be priced half of that, since there will be no theatre rentals. And the film with inferior picture quality can be made available on the same site those wish to watch it for free. It runs with Ads and Commercial breaks. This can be a rogue method but eventually transforms as a tradition. It can be a better way to mint money on the first day itself, if the piracy is considered really big”, I expressed my view, standing in the shoes of my MBA days.

“Sounds convincing, but it needs more study”, replied director.

“To study the path, one has to start walking”, producer made an oracle.

"Before killing piracy, conquer it. It automatically gets killed", I concluded.

Courtesy: (Sira Sri